Productivity on the Move: Android Tablet vs Notebook
As an experiment, I've been traveling for three weeks with an ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 Android tablet instead of a regular notebook. I really, really wanted to like the tablet as a travel companion. After all, schlepping around a heavy shoulder bag most of the day is tedious, to say the least. However, next time I hit the road, I'll most likely take my trusty HP dm1-4000 machine with me. Here is why.
- A tablet is supposedly perfect for checking email, reading ebooks and RSS articles, posting updates to Google+, etc. Yet, I often found myself reaching for my Samsung Galaxy S III when I felt the urge to consume content.
- Being an amateur photographer, I take a lot of photos, and I rely on digiKam for all my photo processing and organizing needs. So I dearly missed this application when I was traveling. I had to make do with the Eye-Fi app for previewing RAW files, but I wish I could process and organize my photos, too.
- Typing on any tablet using the virtual keyboard is inefficient and frustrating at times -- and ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 is no exception. Even with the excellent Hacker's Keyboard app, typing on the tablet was often a "I want to stab myself in the eye" kind of experience. Yes, I could have bought a dock for the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300, but then I would have been wasting money on something any regular notebook has by default. Besides, the tablet/dock combo is only slightly lighter than a subnotebook.
- AutoKey, KeePassX, and a handful of shell and Python scripts are indispensable for my daily computing. There are apps like KeePassDroid that fill some productivity gaps -- but only partially.
- There are a lot of minor annoyances all add up to a somewhat frustrating experience.
So despite the fact that having a lightweight bag was a real relief, for me personally, the drawbacks of using a tablet outweigh the advantages. Of course, your mileage may vary.
coding on nexus 7I spent yesterday coding in c++ on my new Nexus 7 and found it to be great, I could compile and run it right from my tablet. No power cords, booting up or shutting down. The battery life was excellent, about 12 hours long on a single charge and was half charged still. Perhaps the 10 inch form factor you used was too large, I don't even think about my phone when I have the 7 inch Nexus 7. I plan to get a case with Bluetooth keyboard for extended coding and other productivity uses. Even though my netbook has a computer, booting up and shutting down, power cords, and having to sit by a power socket is lame. With my tablet I was able to move anywhere, sit, lay down, whatever. I love my tablet, and the apps are very handy.
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